A Travellerspoint blog

Packing for the trip


The worst thing about preparing for a year’s worth of travelling isn’t the injections, or the tedious visa processes, or the endless repetition of listing all the countries you plan to visit when someone asks for the umpteenth time, “So, where is it you’re going again?” (actually, although it’s tiresome reeling off the list for the twentieth time throughout the same evening to numerous inquisitive friends there’s still an element of enjoyable Schadenfreude as you imagine the jealously burn deep within them). No, the worst thing about spending a year abroad is the packing. And I don’t mean the constant worry of how you’re going to pack everything you need to survive for a year into a space the size of a medium sized kitchen bin, for me, the worst part of packing was clearing a three bedroom house full from souvenirs, pictures, electrical goods & failed hobbies from 4 years’ worth of marriage.

At a conservative estimate our loft now contains three million boxes full of knick-knacks, mementos and assorted bric-a-brac, ten thousand boxes of towels, bedding, clothing and fabrics, three mountains of DVDs, two mounds of books and, possibly, somewhere, a partridge in a pear tree, but that’s probably buried under a pile of electrical goods and DIY equipment, meaning it’s now more like pâté in a pear tree.

Will we come back from our travels to realise we don’t need or want half the stuff we’ve packed away? Probably. There’s a foot spa packed up there somewhere that’s only been used once in all the years we’ve had it but it still got placed on the ‘well, you never know, we might use it someday’ pile.

If nothing else, at least the tenants moving into our house can be happy to know they now have the most insulated roof in north London, although with it comes the risk of forty tonnes of photo frames crashing through the floorboards and crushing them all to death.

Finally, after several weeks of humping all this stuff up a step ladder and into the TARDIS that is our loft, I just had enough time to pack my own rucksack with a year’s worth of clothes and equipment. Here’s what I came up with:

• A week to ten days’ worth of pants and socks (including lucky pants for when Arsenal play in the FA Cup)
• 2 trousers (1 smart(ish))
• 2 shirts (1 short sleeved, 1 long sleeved)
• 1 pair shorts
• 2 swimming shorts
• 1 lightweight fleece
• 3 base layers (to share with Sara because she’ll complain of the cold at some point)
• 1 waterproof mac in a pack
• 1 waterproof rucksack cover
• 1 large travel towel
• 1 silk liner
• 1 travel adapter
• 1 plug socket multiplier to charge multiple items
• Money belt
• Notebook
• Acer Aspire One Notebook Computer (previously trodden on and forgot about for years until fixed up for the trip. Uselessness of it means I’m not so worried if it gets stolen)
• Toiletries & medical bag (can’t be bothered listing everything here)
• Sunglasses
• Mosquito coils
• Ear plugs (Sara snores I may be sharing hostel rooms with people who snore)
• Phone and spare battery
• Wind up torch
• Sandals
• Trainers
• Razor
• Eye mask


I will probably have to re-pack, dump stuff and buy other stuff along the way, but for now, that’s me for the year.

Oh yeah, passport! Knew I forgot something.


Posted by JonAndSara 22:08 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged packing trip_preparation

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents


Your bag sounds quite minimal already, but you always find things you don't need and can leave behind. Every time you get on a plane you should take note of the weight, and see how low you can get it. I get down to 8kgs for a 2 month trip...

Enjoy your travels!

by Pete G

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.